The holiday season is right around the corner, and a handful of comic book superhero TV shows are doing their fair share of bringing fans timeless Christmas-themed episodes. With the way serialized superhero stories are in just about every medium they appear in, that is, just about every medium, seasonal festivities are inevitable, and the DC Animated Universe offers choice selections.
Unsurprisingly, some of the most iconic capped Christmas tales come from the highly revered Batman: The Animated Series, but the likes of Superman, Martian Manhunter, as well as Static Shock have their memorable moments. And while the future of live-action and cinematic DCU is still under construction, these animated episodes are more than worthy of becoming mainstream annual viewing.
Christmas with the Joker (Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 1)
Batman: The Animated Series — and the late, great Kevin Conroy who helmed the titular hero’s story — is what launched the DCAU and the iconic atmosphere it created for its entire panthea. Equally good, Star Wars veteran Mark Hamill is the one who put a voice on clown makeup with his iteration of the Clown Prince of Crime. And in the only holiday-themed episode of the series, Christmas with the Joker created an unforgettable Batman adventure.
It’s the first installment in the series that puts Batman, Robin, and the Joker on the same screen, and it strikes the perfect balance between the moody elegance and campiness inherent in the comic book medium – but it’s still essentially Batman. After the Joker escapes Arkham Asylum, the villain kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Bullock and Summer Gleeson to create his own morbid family party as he forces the dynamic duo to venture through his Nutcracker themed traps.
Comfort and Joy (Justice League – season 2, episode 23)
Taking things into the wider DCAU with the Justice League series, Comfort and Joy is a relaxing vacation-focused episode. It puts a welcome spotlight on a variety of superheroes through Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, The Flash, Superman, and the underrated Martian Manhunter. All of these characters are split into smaller stories, and there’s a welcome mix of touching and suitably silly emotions.
All of these mini-tales fit the holiday spirit, but it’s the story of the Man of Steel who brings the Martian manhunter back out of the water to Smallville to spend Christmas with his family that resonates. most. Seeing the latter interact so closely with Superman and Ma and Pa Kent and feeling the warmth of such a holiday is enough to water the eyes.
Holiday Knights (The New Batman Adventures – Season 1, Episode 1)
In the first series of direct sequels to The animated series, The New Adventures of Batman opens its run with more Christmas-themed hijinks. Composed of three vignettes, Holiday Knights begins with the devious new couple of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy ruining their current financial struggles, the two bent on kidnapping Bruce Wayne, mind-controlling him, and making him go shopping. Meanwhile, Batgirl, Officer Harvey Bullock, and Officer Renee Montoya are forced to deal with the mayhem of Clayface in the middle of Gotham City’s mall.
The full story ends with the Dynamic Duo having to stop the Joker from setting off a sonic weapon on New Years Eve. It’s a suitably festive and colorful collection of holiday stories, and it has one of the most heartwarming with Batman and Gordon meeting at a restaurant after hours to share coffee and bring in the New Year. This is another great episode and scene, and another highlight of the best Batman content available on HBO Max.
Frozen Out (Static Shock – season 2, episode 5)
Adapting the Milestone Media/DC Comics character of the same name, Static shock was a breath of fresh air for the DCAU. It helped make the character a cult classic for kids of the 2000s, and it combined welcome guest appearances from the wider DC Universe while letting this new hero proudly stand on his own two feet. And, as such, the series gave way to another classic DC Christmas special in the form of Frozen. It’s a poignant story in the way it describes the origins of the (initial) villain Permafrost, aka Maureen Conner.
Static Shock/Virgil Hawkins sees her homeless and asks her for money, but he pushes her away because she’s in a hurry for Christmas shopping. She was later kicked out of the mall for stealing jewelry, causing Virgil to ask his pastor how she got there. He reveals to the young heroine that she grew up in a broken home which led her to misery following the death of her mother. Frozen is a powerful holiday episode that fearlessly tackles social justice issues like child poverty and homelessness without downplaying their impact.
All episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, The New Adventures of Batmanand Static shock are available to stream now on HBO Max.
Source : BBNWORLDNEWS